Some folks like post processing and some don’t and some are somewhere in the middle. Me? I’m a fan.
And I know the conventional wisdom is to adopt a personal style. And to maintain a consistent look and feel for the duration of a shoot or at least per location of a shoot. While I think that this advice is sound, I can’t seem to subscribe to it myself.
I try and match the mood of the image and the processing. Not that there’s one treatment for a given shot, but I can’t seem to find any cookie-cutter solutions. That said, I do like Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets.
On a shoot I did recently I had one image that I really liked the feel of. It was a newlywed couple and they were enjoying being together in the snow and she jumped on his back and he spun her around a bit. Made for a fun photo. It was an overcast day and we were in shade of a building, but there was snow all over the ground so it made for a nice reflection up from the ground to even out shadows.
The mood was fun and light and I thought light might work well for the shot. I didn’t do much in Lightroom except brighten slightly and a little sharpening. I took it to Photoshop and ran “1970′s Summer” action from Johnna Ridell (she has a set of free actions and I’ve used this one a couple of times and really liked it).
There us a strong red tint to this action – which I like, but didn’t like so much in this image. So, I dropped the red fill layer. I pulled back the gold tone some and even added a little blue using Totally Rad Actions’ “Cool As A Cucumber” (Totally Rad’s products see a fair amount of action in my workflow). I still wasn’t happy with the reds so I plugged in a selection color layer and dropped the magenta, bumped the yellow, and dropped the black. Topped the whole thing off with Totally Rad’s “Boutwell Magic Glasses” and we’re there…
Ta dah! Snowy, glowy, 1970′s Summertimy fun.